President Joe Biden on Thursday urged Congress to “finally do something” on gun control, calling on lawmakers to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as the nation reels from the trauma of three mass shootings in the last few weeks. three weeks.
“After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done,” Biden said in a 17-minute primetime address from the East Room. from the White House.
The president said that if Congress couldn’t ban assault weapons, then they should raise the age to buy such weapons from 18 to 21. He also said background checks should be strengthened and called for the passage of “red flag” laws that allow courts to remove firearms from those they deem a danger to themselves or others.
The killings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have reinvigorated the president’s push for gun reform.
“We spent hours with hundreds of family members who were broken, whose lives will never be the same,” he said in his speech, referring to his visit to Texas. “They had a message for all of us. Do something. Just do something. For God’s sake, do something.”
House Democrats have introduced a package of bills that includes raising the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and banning the sale of “ghost gun” kits. no background check.
The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee in a 25-19 vote shortly after Biden spoke. There is a remote chance that they will find bipartisan support in the Senate.
A bipartisan group of senators has a framework for a bill as they seek a compromise that might be acceptable to some Republicans who have historically resisted strengthening gun laws.
The group includes Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and Republican Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of North Carolina. South and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
As president, Biden has regularly called for gun background checks and the renewal of the ban on assault weapons. But he first supported federal legislation that would raise the minimum age to carry a gun from 18 to 21.